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Bulletin Supplement (Summer 2007)
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Betty Larsen is joining our PWA ARS Tucson Location Support Staff as LAO.   She brings over 17 years of federal employment, with administrative experience in various roles, including past purchasing agent at ARS.   Her most recent position was with Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services, as an Administrative Specialist.  She was an Administrative Officer with the VA prior to joining us in 2001.  Betty holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management.  Betty enjoys golfing, hiking, jogging, quilting, and playing piano and bells.  She and her husband moved to Tucson in 1995 from Minneapolis, Minnesota.  They have five children.


Gary McMurtie joined us as a Hydrologic Technician.  He would like to introduce himself to everyone: "Hello my name is Gary McMurtrie and I am from TombstoneArizona.  I have lived there all my life and so has my family (I have a huge family).  I was raised by the best parents ever -- Don and Anna McMurtrie.  I also have two older brothers, of which one is in Iraq.  So, please pray for him; his name is Robert. I recently signed a letter of intent to play baseball at PIMA community college over the next two years.  I am currently working with Roberta McGuire; then, I will be working with Susan.  I love my job already and have had some really great experiences so far.  I am glad I chose to work with ARS."  Welcome Gary.  We are glad to work with you as well. 


Eric Anson has returned to SWRC for the third time!  He worked as a programmer on the Decision Support System for a year while he was a graduate student in 1992.  Then he came back and was the system administrator from 2002-2005 and in charge of the Data Access Project.  He has returned now as a part-time employee to do further programming on DAP, specifically on integrating the meteorological, soil moisture and sediment data into DAP.  Eric grew up in California and he has a BS in mathematics/computer science from Pepperdine, a MS in math and a PhD in computer science from the U of A.  His dissertation was on whole shot-gun genome sequencing, working with his advisor at Celera Genomics building the program that first sequenced the human genome.  Eric currently has a computer consulting company, Zardick Consulting, and he also spend a lot of time acting in local theater.


Charmaine Verdugo physical sciences technician at the SWRC retired 31 May 2007 after a 30+ year career with USDA-ARS.  During the early part of her career she contributed immensely to many different field studies and in the laboratory analyzing and processing thousands of samples.  The later part was involved with meteorological data where she literally checked and processed millions of data points.  After all this dedication to the world of research, we wish her all the best in the world of retirement.




The fourth annual Research Insights in Semiarid Ecosystems (RISE) Symposium will be held on Saturday, October 6, 2007, from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm in The University of Arizona Marley Auditorium (Room 230) in Tucson. The symposium will feature invited speakers presenting recent research on the USDA-ARS Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed, University of Arizona Santa Rita Experimental Range, and other outdoor laboratories. There will also be a poster session in which students and researchers are encouraged to report on completed or in-progress studies. The submission deadline for poster presentations is September 14. There is space for only 24 posters, and poster abstracts will be accepted in order of submission. Registration is $10 for students and $20 for all others (lunch included). The registration deadline is September 24.  For more information, visit


The SWRC is taking a leading role in organizing the 15th Conference of the International Soil Conservation Organization to be held in Budapest, Hungary, May 18-23, 2008.  The title of the conference is: Soil and Water Conservation, Climate Change and Environmental Sensitivity. Attendees will include scientists, university lecturers, policy makers, and stakeholders from public and private institutions and non-governmental organization throughout the world. The conference will include four days of oral and poster presentations and a mid conference excursion.  Conference topics will include: Soil Conservation, Climate change, Land degradation, Land use change, Water management, Soil erosion, Salinization, Desertification, Soil  rehabilitation and management, Socio-economic aspects of land degradation, and Legislative and Institutional aspects of soil and water conservation. SWRC is excited to be a part of this important meeting.


The Third Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds (ICRW) will be organized by the USGS and held 9-11 September 2008 in Estes Park, Colorado. Attendees may choose to see ongoing research in Loch Vale, an alpine/montaine watershed draining the Continental Divide, or to witness roadside evidence of historic floods from torrential rains and dam failures. The call for papers is scheduled for August 2007; you'll be hearing from us again then.  The purpose of this conference is to highlight research conducted in small watersheds. This research provides important answers for shareholders charged with managing water resources at the watershed scale and improves our understanding of global processes. The conference will have both oral and poster presentations. Speakers will be invited from universities, ARS, USGS, BLM, EPA, NRCS, and the USFS. Field trips and activities are planned to acquaint participants with alpine and montaine hydrology, ecology, geomophology, and biogeochemisty.  Conference details, travel and lodging information, registration, and other details will be updated through e-mail and on the conference web site (not yet available).  URL's for background


The Arizona NRCS is re-establishing a statewide Coordinated Resource Management Task Group to ensure collaboration on natural resource management issues. Phil Heilman will represent the SWRC on the Task Group's Technical Committee.


Phil Heilman will make several presentations on integrating better science in NRCS conservation planning through decision support tools at the Annual Meeting of the Soil and Water Conservation Society in Tampa from July 21-25. He will also help make a presentation on watershed planning in Mexico and the potential for Mexico's collaboration with US watershed efforts as part of the Conservation Effects Assessment Program.




The professional Staff of the SWRC continues to carry on the strong tradition of winning ASCE's Arid Lands Hydraulic Engineering Award: Dr. David A. Woolhiser was the first recipient of the award in 1988; Dr. Kenneth G. Renard was the 5th recipient in 1992, Dr. Leonard J. Lane was the 13 recipient in 2000 and now Dr. David A. Goodrich was the recipient in 2007. Congratulations Dave! In addition to this list, Dr. Walter Boughton, retired professor from the Australian National

University in Brisbance, Australia (Walter spent two different sabbatical periods in our group) and Dr. Richard H. Hawkins, Univ. of Arizona who also spent a couple of sabbatical periods in our lab are past recipients of the award. Pretty impressive list! That means the four current or former SWRC employees and two former Sabbatical members in our lab have been recipients!


Dr. George R. Foster who spent several sabbatical periods in our lab and is now retired and living in Bryan, TX visited with the Renard family in Tucson recently. George, his wife Sherry and grand-son Josh were on an extended vacation with an ultimate destination near San Francisco where George's sister lives. They had dinner at Renards along with Dr. Donald Post who is retired from the University of Arizona's Soil Water and Environmental Science Dept. and was a graduate student at the same time as Dr. Foster at PurdueUniversity in W. Lafayette, IN